Reaching the decision to begin hospice care for a loved one is never an easy path. It means the patient has received a terminal diagnosis, and with that realization come many significant challenges, fears, and questions.

  • Will hospice care be able to help my family member cope?
  • Can it really manage his or her pain effectively?
  • Will it help him or her stay comfortable?
  • Will it be a positive experience for our family?

The welcome news is, there is a Missouri – Illinois hospice care provider truly committed to guiding each patient and family through end-of-life care in a compassionate and uplifting manner. Breeze Hospice is dedicated to its role as care provider, helping hand, and comforting presence for those facing terminal illness. Its team focuses on the patient and family as a unit, emphasizing physical, mental and spiritual care as a means toward easing each individual’s transition.

Patients may be referred to hospice by a doctor, nursing home, or other care provider; but they also can contact a hospice provider directly to begin discussions about appropriate care for the individual. If you have questions about Breeze Hospice’s services and how they can benefit your loved one and family, please contact us.

Myth vs. Fact

  • Myth: “Hospice” is a kind of care center for terminally ill patients.

    Though it sounds similar to the word “hospital,” hospice is actually a type of physically and mentally supportive care for the terminally ill; it is not a building or facility. Hospice care is delivered by medical professionals at whatever location is home to the patient.

  • Myth: Hospice care is only for patients with terminal cancer.

    Hospice care can be appropriate for patients with advanced cancers, but it is also for those diagnosed with other chronic, terminal illnesses. Many hospice patients have advanced stages of conditions such as heart and lung disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, and neuromuscular disease.

  • Myth: Hospice is too expensive for most people to afford.

    Medicare and Medicaid hospice benefits cover 100 percent of the care a patient needs, so there is no cost to the family under those plans. If a patient has private insurance or a managed care plan, the hospice provider can work with the individual and his or her family to understand and handle any out-of-pocket costs there may be.

    Hospice care generally is less expensive than hospital care, as it does not include the overhead costs of a hospital stay. In hospice care, the patient pays only for the services that he/she or the family cannot provide, and that are not covered by insurance.

  • Myth: If I choose hospice care for a family member, it will seem as if I’m giving up on him or her.

    Hospice care is meant to provide comfort, not a cure or treatment; it simply strives to bring peace of mind and body toward the end of a patient’s life. Still, it doesn’t mean you are giving up on the family member; it shows that you care about his or her state of mind and bodily comfort during a difficult period. Hospice care includes important physical, emotional and spiritual support services for the patient and family. It allows them to prepare together for the end of life, approaching the transition in a peaceful and uplifting way with as little pain and discomfort as possible.

  • Myth: A patient must be bedridden to begin receiving hospice care.

    Many hospice patients are not bedridden. Hospice care is ordered after a terminal prognosis, regardless of the patient’s current physical condition. The patient, family, doctor, and hospice provider work together to decide when it’s appropriate for care to start.

  • Myth: Once my family member enters hospice care, he or she no longer will be able to see our regular doctor.

    Breeze Hospice places a high value on the collaborative, communicative relationship between the patient and his or her entire care team. The hospice patient’s regular doctor is always an integral part of that group.

  • Myth: If my loved one begins hospice care, he or she will no longer be allowed to go to the hospital if needed.

    Hospice patients can be transferred to the hospital if necessary – for example, in cases of severe pain or other serious discomfort. Medicare hospice benefits cover short-term inpatient care at the hospital if the individual has symptoms that can’t be controlled at home.

  • Myth: I can’t bring up the subject of hospice care for a family member; the doctor has to do that.

    The patient does have to receive a physician’s order before actual hospice care can begin. But the Breeze team can meet with patients and family members at any time, at their request, to discuss hospice benefits.

  • Myth: Only the doctor can decide which hospice care provider my family member can use.

    Your loved one’s doctor does have to provide an order for hospice care, and he or she can recommend hospice providers. But the patient and family have the right to decide which to use.

  • Myth: My family has to sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order before my loved one can get hospice care.

    Patients can receive hospice care without a DNR in place.

  • Myth: Hospice care isn’t available to people in assisted living facilities.

    Hospice care can be provided in any setting that is home to the patient. This can include private residences, nursing facilities, independent living centers, and assisted living residences.

  • Myth: I should wait until the end to inquire about hospice care for a family member.

    Actually, it’s a good idea to ask early on about the possibility of hospice care for a loved one. It can make a significant difference in his or her quality of life by managing key issues such as discomfort and pain. Hospice also provides important emotional and spiritual support to help families and patients deal with end-of-life issues in a healthy and positive way.